May Day: Flash Fiction
Gougher, the man Dria had thought he ought to sponsor, the man who’d undertaken digging a pond with a shovel, the man who suffered, in some way Dria’s church friends were too delicate to ask…
Anthony Vrenick had the thing in mind. If Gougher felt bad about being an alcoholic, or a wife beater, he would have to lump it…he was going to be asked, because with luck he might leave…in a hough, his employer joked inwardly, angrily. He disliked the man’s idiot name.
“Your wife said, if you just sign this, I’d go on down to the lumber store before they close…”
Gougher was extending a piece of paper, mumbling with his characteristic diffidence and grammar, that lulled and disoriented. Anthony had agreed to hire him on this mistaken premise—of thinking he had offered only vague sympathy to a guest of his wife.
“Gougher, you think you can load bricks on a truck?”
“I didn’t figure on it, Mr. Vernick. Can’t set up a brick wall without mortar. That’ll be another thing.” He paused. “Besides I ain’t got a truck.”
(2017, Stephanie Foster)